While many people may not know exactly what affirmative action is, most are aware of the concept. Affirmative action is the action/policy that favors minorities and underrepresented groups in terms of education and jobs. This can affect the number of a certain group admitted into a college, university, or even high school.
Abigail Fisher, a 22 year old white woman and a graduate of the University of Louisiana, brought her case of what she thought to be racial prejudice against her to the Supreme Court last October. Fisher was turned down by the University of Texas at Austin and argued that the only reason that they rejected her was because of her race.
“I’m hoping,” she said, “that they’ll completely take race out of the issue in terms of admissions and that everyone will be able to get into any sc
hool that they want no matter what race they are but solely based on their merit and if they work hard for it.”
How does this affect SLA and how we run admissions? Every student goes through an interview process in which the staff and ultimately Mr. Lehmann, decide whether or not they are a good fit for this school, which means that they are being hand selected. When students are being accepted into SLA, things like race, gender, neighborhood and middle school are all taken into account. Not only does SLA look at all of those components, but we get to know the students, which is one of the reasons why people like SLA.
Arguments are made that affirmative action should privilege students who do not have the access or opportunity to a good education. But what means that you don’t have opportunity? Many people think that it directly indicates race, but we believe that it is more about economical standing, that can influence which neighborhood you live in and your access to a good school.
Where would we like to see affirmative action go? We don’t have a single solution, but here are some of our suggestions:
- If colleges want to reach the least advantaged students, they should focus on economic status before race.
- Colleges should make every effort to get to know the student. However, larger schools should relate economic status and the quality of their high school to GPA’s and SAT scores. Did the student excel at what they had control over?
Lastly, no one should be ignorant about the factors that go into the decision process of acceptance into a school or university. If it’s only based on merit, who decides what merit is most valuable?
Unsigned editorials are written and approved by the SLAMedia Editorial Staff. They do not reflect the opinion of Science Leadership Academy and its employees.